The Black & The White.
So you’re going on a date – should a man always pay?
Okay so to me this is black and white–no fifty shade of gray for me with this topic. I warn you that I am going to sound incredibly old fashioned with this and I am sure a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but that is what The Black & White is all about- sparking discussion.
First Date Protocol:
He should pay. Short. Simple. I think that the first date can tell you a lot about a person. I know you can’t learn everything from a first encounter, but you can learn enough. If he asked you out, then he needs to follow through. But ladies I also know it is also polite to “offer”, but if your “offer” turns into your treat, then ‘Houston we have a problem’. Ditch him. It will only be trouble from here.
What about After The First Date?
When should a man stop paying for you? Never. Just because he has wooed you doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be romantic any longer. Just because he has known you for a year, two, maybe eight doesn’t mean he shouldn’t treat you with the same admiration, love, respect etc. So, why should he stop taking you out to dinner? The answer is he shouldn’t. It’s not as if he can wipe his hands clean and say, “okay I’ve wined her and dined her every Friday night for three months so now I don’t have to anymore”. Let me ask you this Mr. Hypothetical Guy, what happens when Ms. Hypothetical Girl dumps your butt? Oh, yeah, you have to go through the whole dating, buying dinner, buying drinks thing you were doing all over again, except for someone new. See how this is a never ending cycle? In a recent study, “Research [has] shown…that 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses — even after they have been dating for some time” (Men Still Paying For Dates…And Women Are Partly Responsible). Meaning, that if you’re still paying for your long term girlfriend you’re in the majority bro.
So where is the issue?
According to the same study although 84% of men say they pay for most of the expenses, two-thirds of men think women should contribute. Contribute being the key word–not pay ladies. Con-tri-bute. Maybe women can pay for the tip, or buy the dessert if you go someplace after dinner. Maybe women can buy men something nice and thoughtful every now and then…nothing extravagant just something that says, “I’m thinking of you”…like a growler, his favorite candy, or a couple of nice Polos. But this is a suggestion for someone who is in a committed relationship…don’t start doing this all the time for someone you hardly know when it is too early in the relationship because then it becomes expected behavior, which mean this is now something this person expects you to do, rather than appreciates you for doing it.
Why are you buying a boat together?
(The boat is symbolic for anything really). Now, I know a lot of couples who are unmarried, but split everything down the middle. If they go on vacation: they split it, if they buy a boat: they split it, if they buy a puppy: they split it, and if they rent an apartment they each pay half of the rent. Everything is right down the middle, so it’s fair right? Well, what happens if you are the two to split up. Now you have invested all this time and money into something that you only own a part of. And, what happens if he makes more than you? Should you still pay half when half leaves you unable to save money for yourself? This is when I start to hear my mother’s voice in my head and my old-fashion Italian values start to come to the surface. I was taught, as I am sure many other women were, that a man should know you can take care of yourself, but wants to take care of you anyway. I think that it takes a very special guy to be this for a woman, and I don’t think there are a lot of men out there like this.
If he wants a boat, great! You shouldn’t be paying for it. Hey, maybe you want to contribute pay for the gas, or buy the life jackets, or help clean it up. Then, that’s great. But you don’t have to pay for half of that boat. I think people should tread lightly when buying an expensive item together if you aren’t in a steady relationship, or engaged. How would you feel if your ex got your puppy when you split and then his dog became his next girlfriend’s dog? Not good. I’ve seen this happen. Now on to the apartment, don’t pay half–contribute. Buy groceries, pay for cable, netflix, hulu plus, a land line however you want to contribute, but you don’t have to pay half. I know this is a shocker because so many people do split rent on apartments and you know what that’s fine for some people, but just know it’s also not your only option.
When it comes to finances be upfront.
I am a very straight forward person. And to avoid as much confrontation as possible I speak my mind. If I love something, like something, hate something I say it. Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t but I have always needed to express myself. He knows that when we go out to dinner he is paying. But I too keep this in mind, I have never ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. I usually order a meal that costs less or equal to his and I try to choose a restaurant in his price range. We also take turns choosing restaurants so everyone always gets to eat what they want or crave. We don’t go out too often, probably to a nice dinner once a week, so that the bills don’t pile up.
I leave you with this thought–just something to think about…
It has never been proven, at least I don’t think it has, but it seems to me that the way that first date goes is how the relationship will progress. If he pays then he will most likely be the sole provider, while if you pay then you may continue to be the sole provider. So the question is, do you want to be the provider?
Should a guy always pay?
I am not the type of person who likes to wait or expects people to give me things. I do what I want when I want and I hate waiting – no patience.
I would rather not wait around at a bar and flirt with a man and convince him to buy a drink for me. I would rather not give him the expectation that the $12.00 drink I just made him buy for me is going to allow him an “in” with me. No thanks. I’ll buy my own $12.00 Ketel & Club with limes and take it from here.
Do I think that buying me dinner is something that you should do if you’re taking me out on a first date? Definitely. Do I expect it? I guess… Will I freak out if it doesn’t happen? Nope. I don’t freak out about something like this because I don’t even give a shit. I would never go out to a dinner if I couldn’t afford it. (Neither should you). I would never request to go somewhere, not expect to pay for it. I would also never ask somebody of the opposite sex that I was interested in to go out to dinner with me if I didn’t expect to pay for them…
I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt guilty asking a guy to take me out to dinner to where I want to specifically go. If you don’t want to pay for something that’s out of your range – don’t ask me where I want to go to eat because I’m probably going to tell you something that you’re not going to like or that is potentially out of your price range. Rude? I just don’t think so. I also don’t expect you to pay. I’ll split dinner with you every time I go out because I’m like that. Literally, do not care. I’ll also order whatever I want not basing my selection on price or quantity because I want what I want and I don’t care who’s watching. I’m not embarrassed in front of a waiter or a maitre’d because I’ve been one and I am one. People who serve you, don’t judge who’s paying – they don’t care either. They will judge your tip – so if you’re out with me and you don’t over tip – I’ll feel extremely embarrassed. Then I’ll go out of my way to over tip and make you feel extremely embarrassed because you suck. Don’t even try it. I’ll never speak to you again. It’s over. Rule: If you don’t know – ask.
So like, I don’t care if you’re going to pay for my dinner every time. Especially after being in a relationship with somebody. With all my relationships (friendships & romantic), all money always comes out in the wash. I buy something for you, you buy something for me. Dinners? Lunches? Coffee? Juices? Whatever I see at the store and want to buy for you because it reminds me of you? Whatever. I’m not really counting and if I am, it’s because you suck. I practice this throughout all of my relationships – if I owe you money because you bought me a drink at a bar – I’ll buy your next one. DUH – come on. If you’re sweating spending $ on me for dinner – I don’t want to be your friend, at all — especially not your girlfriend. If you don’t sweat it, I won’t either. If you want to pay for my dinner every single time – go right ahead. I’ll recoup by buying you something really awesome every once in awhile. And bring your mother flowers.